The words, “Lets elope” mean something very different today then they did 10 years ago. Elopements have evolved from spontaneous trips to the courthouse to meticulously thought out ceremonies planned months in advance.
We’re here to share all the Do’s and Dont’s and what planning a modern day elopement entails.
1. Do decide on a location.
First things first, you need to pick a location. It could be somewhere that is special to you and your fiancé like where you got engaged or your favorite vacation spot. Or maybe you’re an adventurer at heart and your perfect spot involves a sunrise hike to your favorite overlook.
2. Don’t forget to consider weather.
If you have your heart set on a beach ceremony in the Caribbean definitely plan around the rainy season. And if you’re considering a beautiful fall elopement somewhere in the mountains DO take into consideration there will likely be snow. Most mountain areas see snow, sometimes a lot of it, by mid October.
3. Do make it special.
Hair and makeup, an expensive hotel or B&B you normally wouldn’t splurge on, your dream flowers…you get the picture. If it’s important to you then it should absolutely be included in your special day.
4. Don’t dismiss the legalities.
Theres nothing cute about flying halfway across the country only to realize Washington isn’t a self solemnizing state and now you’re scrambling for an Officiant. Don’t ever assume what is legal in one state will be in another.
5. Do hire a planner.
From the best vendor recommendations to permits and location scouting, we do it all so you don’t have to. This is especially true if you’re planning a destination elopement. We strongly advise hiring someone who is either local to the area or who has planned elopements there before.
6. Don’t let your wedding be the first time you meet your vendors.
We’re not saying you need to make a special trip across the country to meet your vendors in person. But you should be utilizing things like Zoom or FaceTime to chat with them “face to face” prior to your wedding day. These people are going to be planning and capturing a very significant day in your life, it’s important you feel comfortable with them. Or at the very least, are able to recognize them in public.
7. Don’t be afraid to be bold.
We love a traditional white wedding dress as much as the next girl. But some of our favorite elopement looks feature brides in non-traditional colors like bright red or even black.
8. Do expect costs.
While elopements are typically 1/3 the cost of traditional weddings still be prepared for some costs. On average, couples can expect to spend 4-6 thousand on their elopement. If you’re planning a destination elopement and you’re not using local vendors then this number will likely increase as you will be responsible for their travel costs.
9. Do have a wedding day time line.
Unless you spontaneously decided to elope today and you’re reading this on the way to the courthouse, you need a timeline, plain and simple. Chances are you’ve been planning this day for months and your day needs structure in order to get the absolute most out of it.
10. Don’t feel guilty.
This one may be easier said than done. Especially if you’re close with your friends and family and have decided not to include some or even all of them. Don’t stress about your decision and know that once over the shock factor, they will likely be happy for you and respect your decision.
Need help planning your elopement or intimate wedding? Send us an email!